Saturday, May 12, 2012

What Age is Appropriate to Leave Your Child Home Alone?

I am the type of parent who is truly paranoid and over protective.  When I drop my kids off at school in the mornings, I have to watch to make sure they make it into the building.  If I don't, I might have a neurotic episode where I have to call the school with some excuse so that they will have to buzz the intercom in my child's classroom to ask her a question (such as did she have her glasses) to make sure she is there and that no one kidnapped her in front of the school.  Not that I have ever done that...much.  I get nervous when they spend the night somewhere else.  What if those people don't have a security system or they forget to lock a door?  Who am I kidding, I get nervous during the night when they are at home.  I have to check on them at least once during the night to make sure they are all still breathing.  I should probably seek therapy.

All of that considered, when broached with the subject of what age can you leave a child at home alone, my vivid imagination immediately runs wild.  My mind immediately conjures up images of child predators who stalk our home waiting to see if I leave, and if I loaded all three children in the car.  Or my accident prone child running head first into a wall and knocking herself out or worse.  A few scenes from "Home Alone" also pop in my head.  Again, I have issues that probably need professional help.

However, after talking to some of my "mom friends," I have come to the conclusion that there is no magic age in which it is okay to leave your child home alone for short periods of time.  Instead it is a point in which you, as the parent, feel comfortable leaving your child at home alone.  For some that age is 10, 12, or 14.  For me that age is 24.  I know I am paranoid.  I was left home alone for short periods of time when I was 8, but that was a different time.  Things have changed a lot since the 80's when I was a kid.  We did not have a security system, deadbolt locks, or technology that would alert us to the locations of the child predators' homes.  I am not sure how I am still alive to be sitting here writing this.  My parents must have been nuts, or maybe they did not need the professional help or medication that I appear to need in order to treat my paranoia issues.


  1. I can be overprotective with my daughter too. I think for me it would most likely be when she is 12 or 13. And then again it depends on how mature she is at that time. But it is scary to think about the dangers that are in the world today.

    1. I agree. I would say 13, but that's easy when 13 is 9 long years away. Knowing myself I will rethink that when the time comes!

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